Cherryhurst neighbors, friends, and revelers–
Great meeting tonight with Council member Wanda Adams and Deputy Parks Director, Doug Earle (among others on those teams). I think I counted 30 of us tonight.
But to all who were there, all who had to leave, as well as those who couldn’t attend, I’m emailing to ask for your help:
We’re down to the wire on getting an extension on keeping this community center open for another year, while we come up with a fiscal game plan. Wanda Adams is going to try to negotiate an agreement with the mayor in which the mayor would approve extending our community center’s “life” for another year while we come up with a game plan for funding the center. This plan, which might include our filing for 5013C non-profit status, renting the center, possibly splitting operation hours and programs with River Oaks, raising funds, and cutting dollars, would be presented to the Council next year. But the goal for the moment is to buy some time –one year– and create this plan.
So— in order to get the mayor to buy in on this, we’ve got to press on — with letters and emails and shows of attendance. The next week or two are critical. They vote next week. Wanda Adams said she will push this plan — that we be granted another year– but she needs us to put out a great show of support at the Parks Department budget meeting THIS THURSDAY, JUNE 9, AT 2:00. This is the day for discussing the Parks Department’s fiscal budget. (Wanda’s assistant is going to do his best to confirm tomorrow that 2PM or so is “roughly” when we’d be discussing the issue so that we’re not sitting around all afternoon. He’ll get back to us if that changes.)
Wanda beseeched us… implored us…. BEGGED us to show up in numbers at the Council meeting this Thursday. Without a strong show of support, she loses a lot of leverage. She said that just saying “I’m speaking on behalf of X number of my neighbors” does NOT make an impact on the Council; however, Cherryhurst residents showing up and sitting in the audience does. We need to continue to put ourselves on top of the Parks agenda… and the mayor’s mind.
The Council should have the budget decided upon either by the end of THIS week or the end of NEXT week. “Debates” about the proposed budget will be on the 21st, but it will be signed, sealed, and done on June 29.
So, please: show up if you can. We don’t want to see this center boarded up, and our days are numbered for buying time. So far, 5 of us have committed to show up on Thursday (2 or 3 of us are speaking; the other 2 will be there for moral support). However, we need many, many more.
If you can go, and can grab some retirees to go, too, can you let us know? We will be meeting on the steps of City Hall (by the reflecting pool, on the building’s east side) at 1:45. And for anyone who would like to speak at the meeting, we’ll have a very quick meeting tomorrow evening from 6-6:30 at Carol Rensink’s just to recap the key points we need to make, according to Wanda Adams.
SO, WHO’S IN? I’m in, and I’m driving Larry and Lillian. ANYONE ELSE COMING? Come on… now’s the time. WE NEED YOU! FIRE UP THE CHERRIES!
Mary Michael Townsend
1802 Cherryhurst St.
Houston, Texas 77006